The Biden administration has accused Boris Johnson of “inflaming tensions” in Northern Ireland amid trade discussions following Brexit.
Yael Lempert, charge d’affaires at the US Embassy in London, accused the British government of threatening the peace process and inflaming tensions in Northern Ireland as negotiations continue over post-Brexit trade rules.
Mr Biden, who is set to meet Boris Johnson today, reportedly ordered the intervention by the embassy, with one Tory MP telling Politico that “America should remember who their allies are… unfortunately he’s (Biden) so senile that he probably won’t remember what we tell him anyway.”
DUP leader Edwin Poots accused Biden of trying to drive a “coach and horses through the Good Friday Agreement”, doubling down on his calls for the Northern Ireland protocol to be removed from the Brexit agreement.
“This is effectively a constitutional change. Would president Biden for example allow Alaska, which is separate and distinct from the rest of the land block of the USA, but still part of the USA, to be taking laws from Canada, and have its laws applied from Canada?,” Poots asked.
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin told Newstalk that the intervention from Joe Biden’s administration “is significant, but also from my perspective represents a lot of common sense.”
“I think the US are saying ‘sort out this issue, we’re very clear from a United States perspective that the Good Friday Agreement, peace on the island is an absolute imperative and that the protocol is a contributor to that. You’ve signed up to it, adhere to it’.”
As disagreements about importing products such as sausages continue, Martin said he was confident EU goods entering Northern Ireland would not be checked.
Michael Gove, Britain’s cabinet office minister, said Biden, Johnson and Martin are “all on the same page”.
“We are all absolutely committed to protecting and upholding the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in all of its dimensions,” he said.
EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen insisted yesterday that the Northern Ireland protocol was the “only solution” to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and claimed that there were still “fundamental gaps” in the UK’s adoption of it.